Disgruntled Employee – The initial physical state of data leakage !! (VAPT Audit)

Social Engineering is the most effective term used in VAPT.  Here is the Wikipedia definition for Social Engineering.

Social engineering, in the context of security, is understood to mean the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.

But Many organization unaware about it, I saw many IT companies HR and Recruiters working on best to recruit employees,  they recruit candidate according to their point of view. Seriously they have to understand one extra point of candidate, is known as level of anger.

Is it related with information security ? hmm.. ? i think so.. Lets find out how.. ?

2 days back, i read one of my favorite book as Firewall 24Seven, what it is ? just a beauty.. !!
I thought to introduce one slightly different point from that book. May be it help many organization to develop policy.

“Disgruntled employees are the most dangerous security problem of all organization or even most famous big IT companies. The employee those are always coming under-pressure from their senior authority, due to seniority, due to company political view. It depends on the mind level of senior manager/authority. Some times we saw indirect criminal case in corporate world, defining indirect criminal case is difficult for me in my words. Some times Senior level authority use their power to bend candidate to do anything what they want. Overreacting to an employee who is simply blowing off steam by denigrating management or coworkers is a good way to create a disgruntled employee, however. So be cautious about the measures you take to prevent damage from a disgruntled employee. Be aware about overreacting senior manager, coworkers. their overreacting will destroy your level.

Such disgruntled employee with an axe to grind has both the means and motive to do serious damage to company network. These sort of attacks are difficult to detect before they happen, but some sort of behavioral warning generally precipitates them.

Also remember that outsourced network service companies may have policies that make them hard to replace if you decide you no longer wish to retain services, and that disgruntled small companies tend to behave a lot like disgruntled employees. There’s very little that can be done about attacks that come from people with an intimate knowledge of your network, so you should either choose your service providers wisely and exercise a lot of oversight, or require the escort of a trusted employee at all times.

Unfortunately, there’s very little you can do about a disgruntled employee’s ability to damage your network. Attacks range from complex (a network administrator who spends time reading other people’s e-mail) to the simple (a frustrated clerk who takes a fire-axe to your database server).

All major operating systems have built-in internal security features that are useful for keeping users in line, but anyone who’s ever been an administrator on your network knows all the holes, all the back doors, other people’s passwords, and the “administrator” tools that can be used to cause all sorts of local exploits on machines. No version of any major operating system has been immune to “root level” access exploits within the last 12 months, not even the super-hardened OpenBSD. If someone with console access to a running server wants to take it down, it’s going down no matter what security measures you have in place.

Accountability and the Law are your friends in this situation. Unlike hackers, it’s very easy to track down disgruntled users and apply the force of the law against them. Accountability keeps these attacks relatively rare.

A day before i found interesting stuff on google with some search, one of the indian big company(IBM*) employee distributing their VPN credential files with others, list of IP address and host names. May be their Lab network in various city.

File name SSL_VPN.TXT
File contains:
The procedure for connecting through SSL VPN is as follows:
1. Visit https://sslvpn.domain_name.co.in
2. Select the ‘Realm’ as ‘xxx’.
3. Username – <Your xxx Domain Username>
4. Password –  <Your xxx Domain Password>
5. After the authentication is successful you will be prompted with a dialog box which is for installation of new components. Accept the installation of these components.
6. Now you are connected to xxx intranet and will receive an IP from the range x.77.227.x.
Try accessing the resources mentioned in:  https://darxxx.domain_name.co.in
7. You won’t have access to any other resources on xxx network.
After logging through SSL_VPN,
To open New Darxxx – click on the following link:
https://darxxx.domain-name.co.in OR http://x.44.233.x/Pages/Default.aspx
To directly open xIS – click on the following link:
After clicking on each link you will be asked for entering your domain ID and password:
Format for User ID xxx\user_name
Format for PWD simply mention the domain password.
On entering the credentials the respective pages will open.
Please contact mist00mxxx@xxx for any queries related to Darxxx and xIS.
Please contact pay0000xxx@xxx for any queries related to Pay0000xxx.
Please contact 00_bes_xxx@xxx in case of any queries related to SSL_VPN.
note**: xxx=is the name of company

well every one knows this is the general information that administrator is sharing with VPN agent, but like this ?

Here is another company IP list:
IP Range: x.x4.11.1-x.x4.11.254 mask: nzlab.*xxx.*xxx.com
hostnames: anaconda, sharepoint, galaxy, corp-mail1 blah blah…

Above information is really impressive for us, that how such administrator or authority senior can handle confidential data with their employee or network.

is this enough for us to have remote attack/connection on respective lab ? hmm.. ?

Vectors of Attack

There are only four ways for a hacker to access your network:

By using a computer on your network directly
By using dialling in via a RAS or remote control server
By connecting over the internet
By connecting to your network directly(usually via a wireless LAN).

This small number of possible vectors defines the boundaries of the security problem quite well.

Hopefully, HR, Senior Authority, Manger, Bosses, Coworkers will help employees to avoid making of disgruntled candidates.

If you known the meaning of confidentiality, then you have authority to spread the awareness” – Niraj Mohite